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Beat the Odds – Story Example

By June 10, 2020August 10th, 2020No Comments
beat the odds - new college graduate Brittany, in US Army uniform, with graduation cap

The other day I was on LinkedIn reading my feed. I saw an interesting picture. It was a picture of a US Army soldier with a graduation cap. Combined with the title, “Beat the Odds,” I was intrigued. It is Brittany’s wonderful story of perseverance and personal commitment. And she uses four repetition techniques of anaphora, anadiplosis, epanalepsis, and epiphora and to improve the narrative impact (see below the story for the repetition examples).

As a fellow US Army veteran, I specifically contacted Brittany to congratulate her. She graciously gave me permission to share her story to beat the odds.

Here it is. Enjoy…

I Beat the Odds

I beat the odds.

I was born to a teenage parent. The statistical chance of becoming a teenage parent myself was high, as well as a lower IQ and academic achievement, and being socioeconomically disadvantaged. My parents tried but between their battles of drug/alcohol abuse, mental illness, and domestic issues inside my home, I left at the age of 16. I became emancipated at 17 and barely graduated high school.

Then one day, I decided to bank on someone else, and I committed to the National Guard. The #nationalguard committed to me. All the leaders I came across invested in my success and pushed me to be better. Better for my family, my community, my organization, and my country.

They afforded me so many different opportunities from being a combat medic to reclassify as a journalist. From making sure I was employed. To assisting me when I was a “tour of duty” Soldier and went to Afghanistan with the South Dakota National Guard. To helping me move to South Carolina from Washington when I needed to be closer to family.

It only seems fair at this point to thank the National Guard and all the leaders who stood behind me, encouraging me, and motivating me. I obtained my bachelor’s in communications.

Thank you, National Guard.

Beat the Odds Story graciously provided by
Brittany Conley
LinkedIn profile

Repetition Examples

Here are the quick details. If interested in reading more about improving (dramatically) your communication impact, read about a variety of figures of speech and more story examples. Click here.


The word <my> is repeated at the beginning of each phrase/clause.

– <my> family, <my> community, <my> organization, and <my> country


The word <better> comes at the end and then starts the next sentence.

– pushed me to be <better>. <Better> for


The words/phrases first used follow in the next sentence for the second instance.

– I <committed> to the National Guard. The #nationalguard <committed> to me.
– I was born to a <teenage parent>. The statistical chance of becoming a <teenage parent> myself was high,


The word <me> comes at the end of each phrase or clause.

– behind <me>, encouraging <me>, and motivating <me>


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Photography Source:  Brittany Conley
#chiefstoryteller #storytelling #career #graduation

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after storytelling coach, global speaker, trainer, consultant, communication coach, and public speaking coach.